The Confucius Institute at the University of Memphis Launches its Fourth Annual "Chinese Bridge Summer Camp for American High School Students"
The "Chinese Bridge Summer Camp for American High School Students" is sponsored by the Office of Chinese Language Council International (Hanban) and the Confucius Institute Headquarters in Beijing in cooperation with various Confucius Institutes across the United States. The goal of the program is for American high school students to experience the Chinese language and culture in a hands-on, culturally immersed environment.
The Chinese Summer Bridge camp was launched in the summer of 2007 just a few months before the Confucius Institute at the University of Memphis (CIUM) officially opened at the University of Memphis. Since the program’s inception thousands of American high school students have been invited to participate in the summer camp in China. The camp provides opportunities for American high school students to gain a better understanding of the Chinese language and culture while developing lasting friendships between the youth of China and the United States.
“The Confucius Institute at the University of Memphis (CIUM) is proud to provide an opportunity to high school students in Tennessee. This summer is our fourth summer bridge camp sponsored by HANBAN. The selection process for students is very competitive,” noted Dr. Hsiang-te Kung, director of the CIUM. “Students get first-hand experience about China and the Chinese culture during their two week stay. This program assists in bridging the gap between the U.S. and China.”
During the camp, students participate in Chinese language classes as well as cultural classes such as paper-cutting, calligraphy, brush painting, martial arts, etc. Students also participate in various sports and cultural activities including basketball, soccer, and ping pong tournaments, international student get-togethers, family visits, and so much more. Students also spend time visiting historic sites in Beijing as well as points of interest in various provinces.
The CIUM took thirty-three high school students from Tennessee last summer to visit Beijing followed by a visit to the Shandong province. While in Beijing, students climbed the Great Wall of China, visited Tiananmen Square, entered the Forbidden City, toured the Summer Palace, and witnessed the Temple of Heaven. While in Shandong, students visited Qufu, the hometown of the great educator and philosopher, Confucius. Students also enjoyed visiting Weifang, the kite capital of the world followed by a visit to Jinan, the capital city of Shandong. Students stayed in Shouguang.
“I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to visit China,” noted Corrine Nulph, a student at Collierville High School and one of this summer’s participants. “I would love to visit China again. The people were wonderful! I especially loved the students at Century School in Shouguang and visiting all the historic sites.”
“As the coordinator for the 2010 Chinese bridge summer camp, I have witnessed the positive results of the program,” stated Nailin Chen, visiting scholar and professor at the CIUM. “We hope that some of our students will major in Sino-American fields of study and become future experts in Asian related programs. The goal of the program is to bridge the gap between two countries and do something useful to enhance the friendship between two nations.”
To participate in the program, prospective applicants must currently be enrolled in an accredited public, private, or parochial high school. Students must have citizenship in the United States, possess a strong academic status of at least a 3.25 cumulative grade point average, and be interested in the Chinese language and culture. Prospective applicants must complete an application, submit an essay, participate in an interview, and have at least two letters of recommendation to be considered for the program. Prospective applicants must also be capable of international travel which includes long flights and multiple layovers. The program is highly selective and seeks to recruit students who are committed to representing their country, school, and family in the most professional and positive manner. All expenses with the exception of international airfare are provided by Hanban.
This year’s program has been confirmed for July 15 – 31, 2011. Students will fly to Beijing first and then visit a local province in China for an extended stay. The provinces are being selected at this time. The provinces will be announced in a few weeks.
For additional information about the CIUM’s Chinese Summer Bridge Program, please contact Yang Yangwei or Riki Jackson at 901-678-2595 or 901-678-3166 or visit www.memphis.edu/cium.